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Archive for the ‘Power’ Category

Fist punch.
Foot crunch.
Hand hit.
Mouth spit.
Eye swells.
Can’t see.
Please,
Please,
Let me be.

Rips my homework.
Steals my money.
Grabs my lunch.
Thinks it’s funny.

I won’t tell, I swear I won’t.
Please don’t do that. I said “Don’t!”

Sticks and stones may break my bones …
Sissy
Prissy
Four-eyes
Geek
Fatso
Schizo
Nerdy
Freak
… but names can really hurt.

Through the doors.
Up the stairs.
Face is bloody.
No one cares.

In the washroom.
Clean up the mess.
I’ll be safe
Until … recess.

by Andrea Wilson

Topics for discussion:

  • Is the bully in the poem a boy or a girl? Which type of bullying do boys engage in more frequently? And girls?
  • Everyone is familiar with the chant “Sticks and stones”. Do you agree that names can never hurt? What damage can name-calling do?
  • Bullies take advantage of an imbalance of power between themselves and the victim. Discuss why a bully hits someone and what effect it has on him/her.

Classroom Activities:

  • Brainstorm situations where an imbalance of power can lead to abuse. Put on skits to demonstrate those situations.
    Try using onomatopoeia to describe a scenario involving physical bullying.
  • Pretend you come upon the child in the washroom at the end of the poem. What advice and/or assistance could you offer?
  • Draw an abstract picture which depicts fear.
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Today they called me stupid
They said I had no brain.
They sneered at me.
They jeered at me.
And stared with such disdain.But…

I lie in bed tonight.
As happy as a clam.
Because you see,
Or do you see?
I know just who I am.

Tonight I am a dragon-slayer,
The greatest anywhere.
I hunt the beast.
I find the beast,
Asleep within its lair.

I charge it on my stallion.
I stab it with my dagger.
It turns on me.
It leaps at me,
And then it starts to stagger.

I seize it by the tail.
And whirl it round and round.
It roars out load,
It shrieks out load,
It crashes to the ground.

Today they grabbed my lunch.
They tore at my nice new shirt.
They laughed at me.
They spat at me.
And made me eat some dirt.

But …

Tonight I am a hockey star.
Whom no one can defeat
I stop the puck
I hit the puck
The crowd is on its feet.

The goalie tries to block it.
His efforts are in vain.
I score a goal,
The winning goal.
I’m Number One again!

Today they wanted money,
Or swore they’d hurt my brother.
I gave them it.
Yes, all of it.
And still they hurt my brother.

But …

Tonight I am a mountain climber,
Just starting my ascent.
I’m climbing high,
So very high.
I swear I won’t relent.

I’ve almost reached the summit.
And triumph tastes so sweet.
I gage the cliff,
I scale the cliff.
The world is at my feet.

Tomorrow is another day.
I’ll have to face their schemes,
Their pranks, their tricks,
Their slaps and kicks

For now …

I have my dreams.

by Andrea Wilson

Topics for Discussion:

  • What coping mechanism does the narrator use? How does it help? Does it solve the situation?
  • We all do unkind things from time to time, but we are not all bullies. What distinguishes a bullying incident from an isolated act of unkindness? (1- There is intent to do harm. 2- The act is repeated or threatened to be repeated. 3- An imbalance of power exists between the instigator and the victim.) Do the events in this poem qualify as bullying?
  • Why do you think the child’s fantasies cast him as brave, popular and powerful?

Classroom Activities:

  • When speaking in front of a crowd it is often recommended that one imagine the audience is sitting in their underwear. The strategy is that this will help you perceive the audience as less intimidating and give you courage. Collaborate in making a list of things students do to make themselves feel better in a difficult situation. Can some of these techniques be applied to bullying situations?
  • Coping mechanisms can help a situation but sometimes more action is required. As a group, elaborate a plan of action to deal with the bullies in this poem.
  • What could be done to make the victim feel more empowered? Illustrate this in a picture with captions.

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